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The Doctrine of Christ - Contents
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    LESSON SEVETEEN The Incarnation

    1. Scripture testimony to the fact. Matthew 1:18-21; 2:1, 2; Luke 1:26-35; 2:1-12.; 2:25-35; John 1:1, 14; Acts 13:23; Romans 1:1-3; 9:5; 8:3; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:14.TDOC 45.3

    2. Christ shared in our common humanity. Hebrews 2:16, 17, ARV; 4:15; Luke 2:40, 52; Matthew 4:2; John 4:5, 6; Matthew 8:23, 24; John 11:35.TDOC 45.4

    3. Christ still retains his humanity. Luke 24:36-40, 51; John 20:17, 26, 27; Acts 1:9; 7:55; 1 Timothy 3:16; 2:5.TDOC 45.5

    4. There was, and is, an experimental knowledge of the incarnation. 1 John 1:1-3.TDOC 45.6

    NOTES: The most influential fact

    “The incarnation, the most stupendous and influential fact in the whole history of the world.”TDOC 45.7

    A transcendent revelation

    “The descent of the Son of God from his eternal majesty to the infirmities and sorrows and temptations of this mortal condition, is so transcendent a revelation both of the love of God and the possible greatness and blessedness of man that we need not be surprised that to many profound Christian thinkers the incarnation has seemed to constitute the whole of the Christian gospel.”TDOC 45.8

    The incarnation absolutely essential

    “The truth, then, of the incarnation was, from the evangelists’ point of view, absolutely essential to the Christian religion.”TDOC 46.1

    The union of the Godhead with humanity

    “God was manifest in the flesh: in Christ we behold the union of the Godhead with humanity-the divinity not destroying the humanity, the humanity remaining in its integrity in order that the divinity might be revealed by it.”TDOC 46.2

    “They that cannot see in Christ the finite as well as the infinite, cannot rightly see the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ.”TDOC 46.3

    “We have in the life of Christ a flesh and blood translation of the holy will of God which he who runs may read.”TDOC 46.4

    The expression of a great truth

    “The incarnation was the mature expression in the fullness of time of the truth that ‘God is love;’ a truth which by implication carries with it the divine passion; for what is love without self-imposed pain and sacrifice?”TDOC 46.5

    Love and Omnipotence

    “We never shall have any proper conception of what true dignity is until we understand that Love is upon the throne of the universe. He that sits upon the throne came into the world and washed the feet of those Galilean fishermen, that believers might be blissfully aware that Love is wedded to Omnipotence.”TDOC 46.6

    An accomplished fact

    “In the incarnation we see what God has actually done. Here we have, not a fancy, not a hope, not a vague expectation, not a promise, but accomplished fact, as solid and unchangeable as our own past life.”TDOC 46.7

    An incarnate revelation

    “Man’s knowledge of God, and of himself as related to God, is the subject of revelation a progressive revelation that culminated in the coming of the Son of God in our nature. By the incarnate Christ has, been supplied this fundamental need of knowledge; through him has been declared what God is and what man ought to be. Jesus Christ is not only the revelation of Godhead, he is also the revelation of manhood.”TDOC 46.8

    The twin pillars

    “The Inspired Word and the Incarnate Word, God’s word written and the Word made flesh-these are the twin pillars of our faith.”TDOC 46.9

    God in Christ

    “The God who dwells in the thick darkness, remote from sense and above thought, has come forth and made himself known to man, even in a very real way has come within the reach of man’s senses, in the manhood of Jesus Christ.”TDOC 47.1

    A new mode of existence

    “We read in John 1:14 that the Word, not only came in flesh as in 1 John 4:2, but ‘became flesh.’ These last words imply that the eternal Son entered at his incarnation a mode of existence new to him, and became what he was not before; that he not only took upon him human bodily form, but accepted the limitations of human bodily life as the mode of his own existence while on earth.”TDOC 47.2

    The golden ladder

    “Jacob’s vision has come true. There is the golden ladder, with its foot resting on the cold, stony earth, and its top on heaven’s starry platform, with its angels ascending and descending through the darkness; and you may climb its steps, high as you will! So humanity receives its crown of life. Heaven and earth are linked, God and man reunited, in the person of Jesus Christ.”TDOC 47.3

    Manhood wedded to divinity

    “Forevermore, manhood is wedded to divinity in the perpetual humanity of Jesus Christ.”TDOC 47.4

    The abode of the divine nature

    “So we are pointed to the glorified corporeal humanity of Jesus Christ in His exaltation as the abode, now and forever, of all the fullness of the divine nature, which is thereby brought very near to us. This grand truth seems to Paul to shiver to pieces all the dreams of these teachers about angel mediators, and to brand as folly every attempt to learn truth and God anywhere else but in him.”TDOC 47.5

    A representative humanity

    “From the first, penitence has found its expression, its relief, its satisfaction, in the cross of Christ, because with varying degrees of intelligence and apprehension, this fundamental truth has been grasped, namely, that the humanity of Christ is representative identified with the race by nothing less than the incarnation.”TDOC 47.6

    The true consolation

    “He who returned to the throne carried with him the manhood which he had assumed, and bore it thither into the glory in which the Word had dwelt from the beginning. And this is the true consolation which Christ offered to these his weeping servants, and which he still offers to us his waiting children, that now the manhood of Jesus Christ is exalted to participation in the divine glory, and dwells there in the calm, invisible sweetness and solemnity of fellowship with the Father.”TDOC 47.7

    Heaven and earth united

    “Henceforth it was to be no visionary ladder, swept away by the dawn, which was to lead up to heaven, but that in Jesus God himself is permanently made over to us; that he, in his one, visible person, unites heaven and earth, God and man; that there is an ever-living union-between the highest height of heaven and the lowest depth of earth. Profound and wide as the humanity of Christ, to the most forgotten and remote outcast, to the most sunken and despairing of men, do God’s love and care and helpfulness now come; high and glorious as the divinity of Christ may the hopes of all men now rise. He who understands the incarnation of the Son of God has a surer ground of faith, and a richer hope and a straighter access to heaven, than if the ladder of Jacob stood at his bed head and God’s angels were ministering to him.”TDOC 48.1

    The man Christ Jesus

    “In Christ, the eternal Son of God became man; and he has not ceased to be man. In Christ, a divine person once made human nature the organ of a life of perfect obedience; in Christ, a divine person now makes human nature the organ of supreme and universal sovereignty. In Christ, the eternal Son of God accepted all the limitations of human life, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross; and in Christ the eternal Word is now enthroned above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and God has put all things under his feet.”TDOC 48.2

    The most important event

    “The incarnation was to be some time, and it is as real having occurred then as if it were occurring now. It occurred in its fit time; but its bearing on us is not dependent on the time of its occurrence. If it had been accomplished in our day, what should we have thought of it? Would it have been nothing to us to see God, to hear him, perhaps to have had his eye turned upon us with personal observation, with pity, with remonstrance? Would it have been nothing to us to see him taking the sinner’s place, scourged, mocked, crucified? Is it conceivable that in presence of such a manifestation of God we should have been indifferent? Would not our whole nature have burned with shame that we and our fellow men should have brought our God to this? And are we to suffer the mere fact of Christ’s being incarnate in a put age and not in our own, to alter our attitude toward him, and blind us to the reality? Of more importance than anything that is now happening in our own life is this incarnation of the Only Begotten of the Father.”TDOC 48.3

    The union of the Creator with the creature

    “‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ The Son of God, who had all along been the angel of mercy to the human race, as he had ever been the one mediator of life and light from the Godhead to the created universe, now, at length, ‘for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate, by the Holy Ghost, of the Virgin Mary; and was made man.’ By this act his mediator ship was, at length and forever, constituted in its full absolute preordained completeness and perfection. That which all along had been prepared for and foretold, that toward which all things had before been tending, at length was fully realized. The most stupendous event happened which thought can conceive; the most stupendous, whether in itself or in its consequences, consequences which can have no limit, whether in the ranks of created existence or through the process of the unending future. The actual union of the Creator with the creature was effected in the person of the eternal Son.”TDOC 48.4

    The Eternal in time

    “Within the kingdom of the incarnation, the true law of man’s life is no longer an ideal which eludes and disheartens us. It may be realized. That his creatures might no longer shrink from him in their weakness and Pollution; that he might be their strong God in a deeper sense than he could be the strength of David; that Christians might fold him to their inmost souls with a wondering yet triumphant sense of possession, with a trembling, yet endearing intimacy of touch, which else had been inconceivable-the Incomprehensible has submitted to bonds, the Eternal has entered into conditions of time, the Most Holy has been a victim for sin.TDOC 49.1

    The essential faith

    “This is the central, the essential, the imperishable faith of Christendom. It makes God the God of those who cling to him in strong and simple confidence, after a manner and measure which they only can know who have the happiness to do so. For them the past is pardoned through the atoning blood. For them the problem of life is simple. The sky above their heads may be overclouded by a passing difficulty, but they have within themselves him whose very dwelling-place is hidden from other men. Through the Spirit and the sacraments they lay true hold upon that Sacred Humanity in which dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Christ in them is the hope of glory. Their thoughts, their affections, their resolves, are gradually interpenetrated by the intellect, and heart, and will of the Son of Man. They live, yet not they, but Christ lives in them. He is at once their philosophy, and their robe of righteousness, and the internal principle of their progressive sanctification. They are made to sit with him together in heavenly places; they live beneath his smile, and partake of his bounty; and they know that, if they be only true to him, he will not leave them, and that the land which lies beyond that horizon of time on which the strained eye of their souls rests with eager hope, they will be his, and he will be theirs, yet more intimately, and that forever.”TDOC 49.2

    The adoption of human nature

    “God has adopted human nature in the person of his Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the ‘Son of man’ who shares the throne of the universe. It is the ‘Son of man’ whose name shall be called, ‘Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.’ The I AM is the days man between God and humanity, laying his hand upon both. He who is ‘holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,’ is not ashamed to call us brethren. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is infolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.”-The Desire of Ages, 25, 26.TDOC 49.3

    The new breath of life

    “Look steadily at the incarnation, at the love which made Christ take our place and identify himself with us; consider the new breath of life that this one act has breathed into human life, ennobling the world and showing us how deep and lovely are the possibilities that lie in human nature; and new thoughts of your own conduct will lay hold of your mind. Come to this great central fire, and your cold, hard nature will be melted;-try in some sort to weigh this divine love and accept it as your own, as that which embraces and cares for and carries you on to all good, and you will insensibly be imbued with its spirit.”TDOC 50.1

    Read Chapter One in “The Desire of Ages.”TDOC 50.2

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